By certified GlideFit Instructor Colin Easom
As I got on my board this morning to prep for a class, a random thought began to take shape and evolve as I worked on the routine. While Forrest Gump believed that life is like a box of chocolates, I actually think a better metaphor is that life is like a GlideFit class.
What time on (and falling off!) the board has taught me is that we’re always trying to find the perfect balance despite both internal and external turbulence. We’re just as likely to actively seek the sweet spot on the board as we are to look for a point of balance in our busy lives. We try to center ourselves to ride out the turbulence, and make micro adjustments as we go to ensure the best possible outcome without falling off.
If one thing is certain both in the pool and in life, it’s that turbulence is going to happen! Some of it may be of our own making, but often it’s through no fault of our own. On the board, there’s always a swimmer doing butterfly in the very next lane just as we’re trying to do tree pose, and in life there’s always some wonderful person creating unwanted drama around us as we’re trying to focus on being calm and happy. I’ve learned to handle both situations in the same way; Take a wide stance, hold your head high, keep your eyes on the distance, and white water the heck out of it!
Just as turbulence on the board helps us develop physical strength and endurance, so does the turbulence in life. That old saying of what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger has some merit. I’ve learned to use stabilization muscles on the board when it gets rocky, to focus on my breath and soften my body, just as I focus on breathing and soften my mindset to get through the tough times of the daily grind. On the topic of the daily grind, if you feel that you’re paddling and getting nowhere, just like that prone surfer paddle on the board, I invite you to reflect on the fact that it’s not the distance traveled that’s important, rather it’s the strength and resiliency you developed along the way.
Does that mean that we’re always going to stay dry, warm, and never fall down? Absolutely not, but if we adopt the philosophy that getting wet and falling off the board is half the fun, then why not adopt the same philosophy for your life? Laugh when you fall off, make the biggest splash you can, then climb right back on up and keep at it!
So no matter what happens, keep that head high, eyes on the end goal, be fluid in your approach to turbulent times, and if you can’t stay balanced, at least have fun as you fall off before getting right back into the game of finding the next sweet spot!